stevesgames (stevesgames) wrote,

Bridge Column

               THE GREEDY OVERTRICK (II)

                      by Stephen Rzewski

                         ♠ K
                         ♥ KQ108
                         ♦ A72
                         ♣ AK1064

                         ♠ 87532
                         ♥ AJ942
                         ♦ 6
                         ♣ 83

       bidding:  N      E      S      W
                1♣      P     1♥     2♦  
                4♥     (all pass)

                opening lead: ♦K  

     This deal came up at a local club game, slightly
amended.  With such poor spades and a weak hand overall, 
South decided to show his better suit, thinking that he
may get only one opportunity to bid, and he might not want
to play spades anyway unless partner could bid them.  Just
as in our previous example on this subject, the contract is
normal and will undoubtedly be the one played at most
tables.  In order to achieve a good matchpoint result, it
may be necessary to bring in overtricks that might be missed
by the rest of the field.  How would you plan the play?

     When a hand is two-suited, it is usually good strategy
for declarer to try to establish his second suit, ruffing leads
of that suit in the dummy, if necessary.  Ruffing in the hand
with shorter trump length (typically dummy) usually gains tricks
as well, since the greater trump length in declarer's hand is
maintained in the process.  In this case, however, declarer's
spades are so poor and difficult to establish that it is better
to work on the superior club suit and make dummy the master
hand.  Since the most likely club division is 4-2, one may have 
to ruff clubs twice in order to make the 5th club good.

     There is a further advantage in making dummy the master
hand:  since declarer's hand has a singleton diamond, both of
dummy's small diamonds can also be ruffed out.  The technique
of ruffing in the long hand to the point where dummy's trump
length eventually exceeds that of declarer's is known as
"reversing the dummy".  For this type of play to be successful,
one needs:  (1) trumps in the short hand which are strong
enough to eventually draw the opponents' trumps (assuming that
trumps will need to be drawn), (2) a number of ruffs to be 
available in the long hand, which will result in a total net
gain of tricks, and (3) sufficient entries to the short hand
needed to execute those maneuvers.

     In this example, you may want to take as many as four
minor-suit ruffs in your hand, and you will therefore need to
delay the drawing of trumps and make maximum use of dummy's
entries.  Accordingly, win the opening lead with the ace of
diamonds and ruff a diamond immediately.  Next play a club
to the king, ruff dummy's last diamond, and then play a second
club to dummy's ace.  Both opponents follow to this trick,

                        ♠ K
                        ♥ KQ108
                        ♦ ----
                        ♣ 1064

                        ♠ 87532
                        ♥ AJ4
                        ♦ ----
                        ♣ ----

     Now lead a third round of clubs from dummy.  On
the actual hand, East will follow with the jack, and
you should take care to ruff high to prevent a possible
overruff, which proves to be necessary, as West shows
out, discarding a diamond.  Now lead your low trump to 
dummy, and when both opponents follow, you are assured
of twelve tricks.  Lead a 4th round of clubs next; East
will play the queen as you ruff with your last trump 
in hand, the ace.  Dummy's 5th club is now good.  At
this point, simply exit with a spade, conceding that
trick, then ruff the continuation and draw the remaining
trumps with the KQ in dummy.  The full deal:

                        ♠ K
                        ♥ KQ108
                        ♦ A72
                        ♣ AK1064

           ♠ AQJ4                    ♠ 1096
           ♥ 7                       ♥ 653
           ♦ KQJ1093                 ♦ 854
           ♣ 97                      ♣ QJ52

                        ♠ 87532
                        ♥ AJ942
                        ♦ 6
                        ♣ 83

     As one might expect, the majority of scores on this
deal were +620 and +650; only two pairs found the dummy
reversal and tied for top with +680.

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